Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham along with six other clubs from around Europe have agreed to join a brand new European Super League (ESL).
In a huge move that will change football forever, these clubs will join AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter and Juventus in breaking away from UEFA and creating a brand-new midweek competition.
A statement by the ESL said: “the founding clubs had agreed to establish a ‘new midweek’ competition with the teams continuing to compete in their respective national leagues.”
It said that the inaugural season was expected to begin as soon as is practical with further teams expected to join.
Amidst rumours of a reform of the UEFA Champions League, clubs took matters into their own hands in a move that is driven purely by greed and money by their billionaire owners.
All the clubs have resigned from the European Club Association with some boards members even resigning their positions within UEFA.
The move has been condemned by the FA, The Premier League and UEFA as well as political figures including Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The new league would consist of 20 teams which would include the 12 founding members, plus three clubs expected to join soon and five sides that qualify based on domestic achievements.
It would start in August and be played entirely in midweek, with two leagues of 10 and each team playing each other twice.
The top three would automatically qualify for the Quarter Final with teams fourth and fifth battling it out for the final spot. The format would then be like the current Champions League before ending with a final played at a neutral venue in May.
The teams involved still want to play in their respective domestic leagues, but that may not be possible with speculation that they could be banned.
The reaction of fans has been one of hatred towards these clubs and their owners, who are turning their back on the football fanbase at the worst possible time.
One fan said on Twitter: “I have never seen a football announcement that has brought every single fanbase together, if that doesn’t tell you what a dreadful decision this is, I don’t know what will.”
The move has also been condemned by former professionals in the game, with former Manchester United player Gary Neville telling Sky Sports: “It’s a criminal act against football fans in this country.
“Enough is enough, there isn’t a football fan in the country who won’t be seething.”
Sir Matt Busby once said, “football is nothing without fans” and a banner displaying this message is currently erected inside Old Trafford. With Bill Shankly an advocate for a socialist way of doing things, “where everyone works for each other and everyone has a share of the rewards.”
The announcement yesterday is one of pure greed by businessmen who don’t know football and who have no respect for its history.
This could all be a power play, a bid for the biggest clubs to gain greater financial benefit from the existing tournaments, but even if it does all fall apart, these clubs shouldn’t be forgiven for trying to destroy the beautiful game.
Main photo credit: EUROPEAN SUPER LEAGUE COMPANY, S.L. – EUROPEAN SUPER LEAGUE COMPANY, S.L. – taken from thesuperleague.de, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=103901525